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Cloud music services comparison

We sat in on a panel where Pandora's Jackson Gates, Daren Tsui of mSpot, and Kevin Wortis were interviewed by Gartner's Mike McGuire about the future of cloud music services at SXSW. It was an interesting discussion, focusing on what the benefit of the cloud brings to music, and the problems associated with expecting users to pay for something that they've been used to getting for free for at least a generation. It's an interesting time, and obviously the models differ substantially for companies like Pandora and Spotify, for example. Click on through for the highlights of the discussion!

Click to continue reading Are cloud music services like Rdio and Spotify the same song and dance?


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Dropbox 32gb

Dropbox just upped the ante for its users who want to share the goodness of the service with friends. Now, when you refer friends to sign up for a free Dropbox cloud storage account, you get 500 MB of extra space added to your account, with a maximum 16 GB of space up for grabs if you refer 32 new users. If you're a Dropbox Pro user, you'll get 1 GB for each referral, up to 32 GB. If you don't already have a Dropbox account, you can sign up for free, starting out with 2 GB of storage.

Read More | Dropbox

infographic

The Geneva Motor is behind us now, but that doesn’t mean you need to stop drooling over the cars that debuted at the Show. Researching through the archives, trying to find a car you want as your next screensaver can be a pain, especially, if you’re looking for a vehicle of a particular color.

Well, fret not, as the guys over at CarBuzz have created a neat infograpfic to help locate a vehicle color of your choice.

Read More | CarBuzz

Google Chrome 18

If you're a Google Chrome user, you'll be delighted to know that Chrome 18 is now available. The release focuses mostly on bringing a bunch of graphical enhancements to the browser, including GPU acceleration, which your CPU processor will likely thank you for by way of faster performance. You can grab the new release now.

Read More | Chromium

Harry Potter eBooks pottermore

For all the Harry Potter fans out there, your days of lugging books around has ended. The Harry Potter series is now available for download from Pottermore, alongside Google Play, Amazon, Sony Reader, and B&N Nook. The eBooks are compatible with all major ereaders and can be downloaded in bundle packs from the site. The titles start at $7.99 and go up from there. You have the option of buying the whole bundle for $57.54, but of course, you can also purchase them individually. The books are offered English (US & GB), with Spanish, Dutch, Italian, and French coming soon.

Read More | Pottermore

New Rdio

Last week at a press event in Austin at SXSW, Rdio gave us a look at its brand new, completely overhauled music experience. We got a look at the new Rdio, and we walked away impressed by the beauty of what the streaming music company is attempting to pull off. There are a lot of changes, and we think that most people will think they're all good.

New Rdio isn't just a visual makeover though. Wilson Miner, head of design for Rdio said, "We want back to ground zero and rethought the whole user experience from the groud up to put the focus 100% on music and people." That people part is a big deal, because social integration is a big part of the new Rdio. When you log in, you've got a constant bar on the right-hand side that shows your online contacts and what they're listening to. There's also another tab that gives recommendations of who to follow (oh, and you should definitely follow the Gear Live Rdio profile!) Wanna share a track or album with a contact? The old way still works, but now you can just drag and drop content onto contacts as well. Very fluid.

Click to continue reading Hands-on with New Rdio redesign: More social, much faster


Google Pwnium Hack Sandbox

It wasn’t too long ago I was in the Eastern Block of Europe. As you would expect, I had my run in with hackers, excessive vodka drinking, and the mob. But nothing quite says "Russia," like hackers. You want free software? They got it. So it comes to us to no surprise that a Russian university student hacked Google Chrome with bypassing the sandbox.

Now before you get alarmed and up your antivirus and firewalls, Google okayed this hack; more so, it was a competition put on by Google. The hack was the handy work of Sergey Glazunov, who is a regular contributor to Google’s security research department. Glazunov scored a payoff of $60,000 in Google’s new Pwnium hacker contest which began to run this year as an alternative to Pwn2Own.

According to Justin Schuh, a member of the Chrome security team, Glazunov’s by-pass was Chrome specific, which allowed him to bypass the sandbox entirely. Furthermore he added that Glazunov’s work was “very impressive” and would allow the hacker to do anything on the machine. However, bypassing the sandbox is not a trivial matter; that is why Google paid out $60,000 for the hack. A fix has already been released.

Read More | ZDNet

Turntable.fm music discovery

Right now I'm at SXSW, sitting in on the Turntable.fm DJ Battle that's taking place over the next two hours. There are a few DJs on stage playing their best tracks in an attempt to rock the crowd, and as things are unfolding, I can see some real potential for Turntable.fm to bring something to the table that the Spotifys, Rdios, and Rhapsodys of the world just aren't able to deliver at the moment, especially now that Turntable has secured licensing rights from all four of the major record labels here in the U.S.

Click to continue reading Why Turntable.fm matters, and how it enhances music discovery


iWork Beta ends icloud

Apple has just announced that it's closing down the iWork.com beta in light of the fact that iCloud has become the company's de facto standard for cloud storage and sharing. It's certainly interesting, since iCloud doesn't yet have all the features that iWork.com has, namely talking about document storage and sharing, as well as the ability to download the stored document in a variety of formats on the fly. Maybe that'll be changing soon? iWork.com users have until July 31, 2012 before the service is shuttered. Full text of the email that Apple sent to iWork.com users after the break.

Click to continue reading Apple closing iWork.com beta on July 31, points users to iCloud


Verizon HomeFusion LTE Cantenna

Verizon is planning on launching a broadband service as an alternative for those that cannot attain cable or DSL. Verizon claims that it’s HomeFusion service is quicker than DSL, despite the fact that it is running on its 4G LTE network.

For a customer to get up and running they'll need to pay a $200 installation fee, which gets them an antenna placed outside of the home. The monthly fee of $60 gets you 10 GB. Customers do have the option of adding 10 or 20 more gigs to their plans for about 30 or 60 bucks more, respectively.

HomeFusion is set to launch in Dallas, Nashville, and Birmingham first and is expected to reach the rest of Verizon’s network footprint by the end of the year.

Read More | Washington Post

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